Norwegian shipping company Yara have joined forces with maritime engineering group Kongsberg to launch the world’s first autonomous, all-electric, zero emissions container ship.
The ‘Yara Birkeland’, nicknamed ‘the Tesla of the Seas’ because of it’s battery operated engines, is scheduled to launch in the latter half of 2018. Initially operating with a small crew in 2019 it is expected to be fully autonomous by 2020.
The 100 container capacity feeder ship will sail along a fixed route 12 nautical miles from the coast between YARA’s Porsgrunn plant to ports in Brevik and Larvik in southern Norway.
The company’s suggest that the craft will save 40,000 journeys a year in terms of carbon emissions. Geir Håøy, President and CEO of KONGSBER has said: “By moving container transport from land to sea, YARA Birkeland is the start of a major contribution to fulfilling national and international environmental impact goals. The new concept is also a giant step forward towards increased seaborne transportation in general.”
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